The light from a February afternoon falls through the window and upon the head of my sleepy, suckling baby. She dozes at the breast, her hair shining gold. She is warm and heavy and finally peaceful after an unsettled day of painful teething.
There aren’t the words for how hard it is, or how wonderful it is….often at the same time.
There aren’t the words to describe the missing days, weeks and months from my blog. The long, long January of sickness for all of us, a hospital visit for my poor husband.
There aren’t the words to describe the daily round which is always the same, yet different in so many ways. Eight months of broken sleep, hundreds of nappy changes. A baby girl who so, so often wants only me.
There just aren’t the words for the difficult days, but neither are there words for the wonder of the magic moments. The little hand holding your finger, the warm head lolling on your shoulder, the sudden delighted grin when she sees me.
It has been so hard lately, but so wonderful too. No one tells you it will be like this, because how could they, how could they possibly describe it at all?
Nearly nine months on, I have had three short periods of someone else looking after Jessica. It has been difficult as she won’t take a bottle or sippy cup. Sometimes I really need just a little break. Sometimes my energy runs low and my patience thin, and I am just worn to a ravelling. But then she smiles or reaches up for me and it is all ok.
I was at a family party a few weeks ago, and a well meaning great aunt asked me what else I do. I know what she was thinking, that she didn’t want to assume I am ‘just’ a Mum, that I might want to talk about other things. It was well meant, but I couldn’t think of a thing to say. Right now looking after Jessica takes all my time and energy. It really shook me. Who am I? Sometimes I just don’t know. A month or so ago I felt very, very low, and it triggered those feelings again. I really appreciated her asking and knew that it came from a kind place…but it did shake me.
I’ve always strongly identified my sense of self with my job…I guess in a way because up until my last year of working I did jobs I loved. But now I am officially a full time wife and Mum, on maternity leave no more. This has coincided with Jessica going through a period of separation anxiety. A much anticipated trip to London to see Cats fell through because she couldn’t be left but wasn’t allowed into the theatre. It felt a bit like a cloud of rain was following me around.
But I have much to be thankful for. I still find it frustrating that in the day she will only nap in my arms, so household jobs go undone, and by the time I have got he to bed, I am just too tired. I haven’t written here for too long, partly because of a lack of time, but mostly because of a lack of confidence. Who am I, and what could I possibly write about any more?
And then I thought, this has always been little
sips of tea, so that is how I will find myself again, and find my way back here. Little sips, baby steps. Little sips of tea, little sips of me. My adventures and projects are necessarily much smaller these days, but I want to capture them, and the happy little moments.
I hope this hasn’t been overly long or unduly gloomy. But when blogs I read go silent for a while, I always wonder where did you go! what happened? So this then, is where I went. Just caught up in life. I’ve tried to be honest about my feelings too, because I think there is pressure, particularly if you are lucky enough to be able to be a stay at home Mum to just show your happy face all the time.
I also want to remind myself, in future years, when I might otherwise have forgotten. You see, I have been so disappointed by a friend. She had her children a few years before me. She had a hard time. I was there. I was always there, in so many ways. I visited, even though I don’t drive. I did the shopping, I cooked, I listened. Oh, I listened. And I was pleased to. I thought because she had been through it, she would understand. I’m having a hard time, I wrote. Can we meet? I’m too busy, came the reply. That was hard to hear.
But, onwards. Since I was last here, I have joined the WI. I have a small article being published in the next issue of a Pretty Nostalgic magazine. I have just been asked to write a blog for a local charity. We are off to Spain for a fortnight in March. And I have finally found where the wordpress ap has been hiding all your comments…so I have a few to read through! (I will also sort out the very belated competition that one of my last posts was about). I have an idea for a local shopping challenge. My mind is turning towards Jessica’s first birthday. I have volunteered to be in the committee to organize a garden party!
The snowdrops are out, the crocuses are just starting, and I have cut daffodils in a vase which need replacing. Spring is coming, my winter is over, at last.